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Ambulances parked outside the International Falls Ambulance Hall in this undated photo. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting

County board agrees to ambulance taxing district

By Randy Thoms Apr 24, 2024 | 7:36 PM

Koochiching County’s Board of Commissioners is supporting the development of a taxing district to help the International Falls Ambulance Service overcome its financial difficulties.

Details such as the exact cost per property owner still have to be worked out.

Chair Jason Sjoblom says the service is in need of the county’s support.

“In order to have a community, we need to have an ambulance service as well. We can’t have a community with, potentially, having a new hospital¬†being built¬†here,” says Sjoblom.

The city of International Falls made the request for a taxing district.

The ambulance service is currently carrying a debt of over a million dollars.

The city has identified several reasons for the shortfall, including delays in repayment from patients’ insurance companies.

Sloblom says there have been several discussions before the county board’s decision.

He envisions property owners being a flat fee rather than a charge based on assessment.

The district would exclude Ranier and part of St. Louis County that the ambulance service also covers.